What about when we see ownership's influence directly knocking the plan off course?
Elias has very clearly not been given unilateral control of a budget. He's come out and said that ownership continues to meddle and have influence and require approval over minor moves. And if we have listened to anything Elias has said about adding talent to every level of your organization through every channel available to him, it also seems clear that he'd like to do things like that Angels/Giants trade where you use current MLB salary flexibility to strengthen the farm system. And if we believe recent reporting, he is not being allowed to do so.
That last part is the most open for debate. But I think we've seen enough from this ownership over the years that it's very easy to believe that they are not willing to spending money to effectively purchase prospects in hopes of improving the farm system. Elias has convinced them to open the purse strings internationally which is a great piece of work on his part. But he hasn't been given the basic control that any functional team needs.
All fair points, that I really can't argue with.
But your last sentence regarding international spending might offer a glimmer of hope that when we're "ready" (I know, i know) that they'll do what it takes. Yes, I realize I have to go back to 2004 (Tejada)and 1996 (Alomar,& crew)for any evidence of this , spending wise, but I have to hold on to some hope.